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Idaho Fish and Game

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Sage-grouse hunting season proposals available for public comment - July 14 Deadline


Sage-grouse lek counts increased 22% in 2024 from 2023, and increases were observed in all zones

Fish and Game staff is proposing an increase in sage-grouse tags offered for the 2024 hunting season. Sage-grouse lek counts increased 22% in 2024 from 2023, and increases were observed in all zones. 

Proposed dates include: 

  • Sage-grouse Firearm Season all zones: September 21–October 31, 2024
  • Sage-grouse Falconry Season all zones: August 15, 2024–March 15, 2025

Hunters and other interested parties can comment on the public comment webpage until Sunday, July 14 at midnight.

The sage-grouse tag allocation is designed to limit harvest to no more than 10% of the estimated fall population in each of 12 reporting zones. In each zone, a fall population index was calculated based on spring 2024 lek counts and recruitment estimates derived from juvenile:adult ratios observed during the previous 3-years harvest. 

Sage-grouse populations exhibit periodic increases and decreases in abundance in approximately 6 to 10-year cycles and Idaho sage-grouse are currently in the upward portion of that cycle.

To generate proposed 2024 tag numbers for each zone, department staff used a targeted harvest of 8% of the fall population index in most zones (5% in two zones, description below) and assumed a 60% harvest success rate. The assumed harvest success rate used for 2024 tag calculation (60%) is closer to actual statewide harvest success rates observed over the last three harvest seasons (31-46%) than the assumed harvest success rate that was used to calculate tag numbers in 2022 and 2023 (75%). 

Therefore, the change in tag numbers between 2023 and 2024 reflects both the increase in sage-grouse counted on leks in spring 2024 and a change in the assumed harvest success rate used to estimate 2024 tag numbers.